Terri A. Sewell

09/17/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/18/2019 10:19

Rep. Terri Sewell Announces Nearly $3.4 Million to Preserve African American Civil Rights Sites

Alabama - U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) was thrilled to announce that the National Park Service has recently awarded $3.396 million to fund the preservation of ten civil rights preservation projects in Alabama's 7th Congressional District.

'I have always believed that the extraordinary history of Alabama's 7th District can drive economic revitalization and promote its heritage tourism to create jobs. This money is necessary, not only for the preservation of physical sites and markers, but also to preserve the history of African Americans' struggle for civil rights in the state of Alabama and that struggle's impact on our nation,' said Rep. Sewell. 'Learning the history of our country and people allows us to better understand where our nation stands today. I am committed to ensuring that the bravery and blood, sweat and tears of the courageous Foot Soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement are never forgotten and our history will never be erased.'

In 2018, Congress appropriated funding for the African American Civil Rights (AACR) Grants program through the Historic Preservation Fund. In Alabama's 7th Congressional District, this year's recipients include historic churches, schools and homes that played pivotal roles in the Civil Rights Movement, as well as museums memorializing this great period of activism.

Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, which served as headquarters for Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth during the planning and execution of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, was awarded $258,209. The church was bombed three distinct times, in 1956, in 1958 and in 1962.

'Bethel Baptist Church would like to formally thank Congresswoman Terri Sewell for her assistance in securing this grant money from the National Park Service,' said Rev. Thomas Wilder, Bethel Baptist Church. 'This grant money will help us do much needed work on the parsonage as well as continue the work that has been done on the historic Bethel Baptist Church.'

Tabernacle Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama was the birthplace of the Voting Rights Movement and the memorial site and memorial service site for longtime civil rights activists Samuel Boynton and Amelia Boynton-Robinson, respectively. The church was granted $87,950 in funding.

'The NPS grants to Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church are the fulfillment of long-time needs,' said Dr. Verdell Lett Dawson, Tabernacle Baptist Church. 'We are happy to receive funding to preserve our historic building with integrity and to preserve our untold story for present and future generations.'

In Montgomery, Alabama, the Alabama Historic Commission will be investing grant money in the Historic Moore Building and the Freedom Rides Museum.

'The Alabama Historical Commission has received two grants from the African American Civil Rights Grant Program, funds specifically enabling AHC to preserve and highlight the saga of the 1961 Freedom Rides as they occurred in Montgomery,' said Lisa D. Jones, Executive Director, Alabama Historical Commission. 'The first is a $500,000 grant for the second phase a rehabilitation effort of the Moore Building, the structure across from the historic Greyhound Bus Station that witnessed this campaign of the Civil Rights Movement. The second award is a $50,000 grant that will be used by the Freedom Rides Museum for exhibit planning as they reimagine the interpretive space within the complex. We are deeply appreciative of Congresswoman Sewell's dedication to our state and her ongoing efforts to illuminate the world-changing history made here in Alabama.'

Here is a full list of NPS African American Civil Rights Grants awarded in Alabama's 7th Congressional District:

State

Projects

Grantee

Award

Alabama
Birmingham

Rehabilitation of St. Paul United Methodist Church

St. Paul United Methodist Church

$500,000

Alabama
Birmingham

Preservation and Rehabilitation of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church: Phase 3

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

$500,000

Alabama
Birmingham

Rehabilitation of the Historic Bethel Church Parsonage

Historic Bethel Baptist Church Community Restoration Fund

$258,209

Alabama
Marion

Stabilization and Roof Replacement of the Historic Lincoln Normal School Gymnasium: Phase 1

Lincolnite Club, Inc.

$500,000

Alabama
Montgomery

Rehabilitation of the Historic Moore Building: Phase 2

Alabama Historical Commission

$500,000

Alabama
Montgomery

Freedom Rides Museum Exhibit Plan

Alabama Historical Commission

$50,000

Alabama
Selma

Rehabilitation of the Amelia Boynton Residence

Gateway Educational Foundation, Inc. & Brown Chapel AME Church

500,000

Alabama
Selma

Preservation of Historic Brown Chapel: Phase 3

Brown Chapel AME Historical Preservation Foundation

$500,000

Alabama
Selma

Oral Histories of the Untold Tabernacle Story

Tabernacle Baptist Church - Selma, AL Legacy Foundation, Inc.

$37,950

Alabama
Selma

Tabernacle Baptist Church: Historic Structure Report and Stained Glass Assessment

Tabernacle Baptist Church -Legacy Foundation, Inc.

$50,000